FacelessFitness.com Gym Tips #5 -Basic Gyms and Alternative Exercises

When you are serious about training the first thing you need to do is find a good well equipped gym. Golds has certainly set the standard in terms of size and equipment, but Ireland and UK have really stepped things now up over the last number of years. Strength and Fitness, FlyeFit, Raw, Ben Dunne, and Dennehys in Cork (to name but a few) have really stepped up their game in terms of service to their customers. The range of equipment in these gyms really is impressive and it’s difficult to do a bad session with so much at your disposal. I can only recommend what I know and if you are serious about lifting check out each of these on a free trial and decide what’s best for you (I have a favourite and I love it!).

The above gyms have everything you could ever need, however if you train in smaller/busier gym you don’t always get the opportunity to do everything you want to do. Also if you’re like me and sometimes use a smaller back up gym or find yourself using a hotel gym you will typically notice the following standard pieces of equipment could be missing:

1) Large barbell
2) Squat Rack
3) Dumbbells greater then 25Kg
4) Any back machine aside from pull down
5) Pulley for Triceps / Dip bar
6) chin up bar
7) Bench Press aside from smidt machine
8) Cables

So here is my list of the most effective exercises by body part which should get you through any small gym session (Also perfect alternatives for busy days)

Dumbbell Incline Fly* – really effective with higher reps at lower weight
Dumbbell Press* – Again high reps may be the only option if the Dumbbells are small
Push Up – always a great exercise
Chest Press/Fly* – if machines available use it, most small gyms usually stock these machines as an alternative to benches

Back – In my opinion one of the main neglected areas of smaller gyms
Bent over double arm Dumbell row – really effective back exercise at lower weight, can alternate between neutral and hammer grips
Single arm dumbbell row – Should be a corner stone of any back isolation workout
Single arm Machine Row using chest press – You may not be lucky enough to have a machine row but if you have a chest press you can use a variation to hit your back. Stand in a semi squat position facing the chest press and using one arm at a time pull the handle towards yourself in a row motion – extremely effective when you get used to it
Pull Down* – If you have it use it, alternate grips as much as possible if relying on this as your core back builder

Dumbbell Press – works well
Seated Bent over Dumbbell side raise – nice exercise for rear delts
Dumbbell Side Raise* – excellent Boulder builder
Dumbbell Front Raise* – ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Triceps Dips – use a stepper machine or treadmill to give you the hand rails to do full dips
Triangle Push Ups – bring your hands together forming a triangle between your thumbs and index fingers, really focuses the triceps and pushing chest secondary
Overhead Dumbbell Extension* – ย Extend the dumbbell from the back of your neck over your head
Dumbbell Kick backs – really nice for hitting the outer head of the triceps

Dumbbell Concentration Curl – really good at lower weight due to the isolation
Hammer Curls* – Good variation which also hits the forearm
Incline seated Dumbbell Curl – again great to really isolate the biceps and stop any help from surrounding muscles
Dumbbell 21’s – 7 full reps, 7 half reps lower half of movement, 7 half reps upper half of movement

Plank/Side Plank/Bridge – core poses that can be done anywhere
Full Sit Up – Absolute full extension, no half movement ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿป
Leg up – hits the lower half better than anything unless you can do hanging raises. If you have a bench do it with your lower half off of the bench to getter a better range of motion
Floor Crunch – excellent for the upper abs (the ones you’ll see first)

Squats – free squats or if available use kettle bells or Dumbbells
Lunge Walk – Free lunges or enhance with Dumbbells
Split Squat – use bench to elevate one leg and go for it
Weighted Step up with knee lift – almost becomes like cardio ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
Single leg Calf extension – can be done flat or with any step you can find in the gym
Straight leg dumbbell deadlift – Excellent for hams and you don’t necessarily need a lot of weight
Donkey Kicks – build that bum

*FacelessFitness Pyramid Set Techniqueย 

Any time you find yourself at a lost because the weights are not big enough or if you just want to switch things up, use the FacelessFitness Pyramid set technique as follows

FacelessFitness Pyramid Set Technique



3 thoughts on “FacelessFitness.com Gym Tips #5 -Basic Gyms and Alternative Exercises

  1. fitnessgrad May 21, 2016 / 3:58 pm

    Now a days, it is frustrating looking for a gym because some gyms offer more machine and others more free weights and others offer the majority of cardio equipment. In my personal opinion it seems as though more people are starting to belong to a variety of gyms to get their “fix”, including myself. I have a main gym and then on Saturday mornings I attend a crossfit class that I have enjoyed. I guess it all depends on where you live. In the future I hope to find a gym that fits all my needs or at 90 percent of them, although I am not complaining because I can get done what I need to get done nonetheless.


    Good post


  2. fitnessgrad June 22, 2016 / 5:19 pm

    I nominated you for an award, stop by my blog page for details. Check back in like 30 minutes though because I am still finishing up! ๐Ÿ™‚



  3. Jane April 17, 2017 / 3:33 am

    Thanks for sharing this workout routine.
    I want to start working out now for body wellness.
    I will definitely try this.


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